White Wizzard have returned and they do so in grand style with their newest release, "Flying Tigers." If you have been a fan of any of White Wizzard's previous material, then it's almost guaranteed that you will fully enjoy this new record. The first half of this beast has the classic sound that was established on "Over the Top," while the second half takes the band to new heights. The musicianship has improved tenfold, but all of the catchiness remains intact and makes this record a must-listen.
This album has just about everything you could want in a heavy metal album in 2011. It has the metal anthems that every White Wizzard fan is familiar with, but is also filled with more progressive elements and epic arrangements. Songs like "Fight to the Death" and "Night Train to Tokyo" are damn-near impossible to sing along with, due to Wyatt Anderson's great vocal performance along with the ear-friendly melodies that seem to endlessly pour out of the guitars. The album's first single "Starchild" shows off the band's ability to write a brilliant ballad while the title track oozes of Iron Maiden influence as it gallops ahead.
However, the true strength of this album comes from the six-song concept that closes the album. Jon Leon shows off some fantastic musical ability with these songs, whether it was because of the catchy, yet technical riffs that resemble Coroner at their best, or just the all around epic aura that's produced by the lengthy and fluid arrangements of the songs. The tracks "Fall of Atlantis" and "War of the Worlds" showcase some of White Wizzard's best riffs and melodies to date. The main riff in "Fall of Atlantis" will definitely get your headbanging and almost resembles Megadeth on "Rust in Peace." "Dark Alien Overture" is the product of great musicianship, as every instrument here delivers for this terrific instrumental, featuring almost jazz-like bass lines that work beautifully with the lead guitar. "Demons and Diamonds," which clocks in at just a little over nine minutes, takes the listener on a journey full of twists and turn that leaves them wanting more.
Overall, this album is a huge step-up from White Wizzard's previous work and is more than capable of silencing their critics. For those who loved "Over the Top," due to its old school heavy metal worshipping, they are sure to enjoy this record. For those that criticized White Wizzard for being too "cheesy" or "generic," well you're going to have an extremely difficult time trying to make that argument after hearing this album.
White Wizzard has completely stepped up their game with "Flying Tigers" and deliver an album that destroys any competition they may have had. The experimentation that was done on this album was surprising to say the least, but it worked out perfectly and have given them their own sound. Many people have criticized them as some cheap Iron Maiden knockoff.
That's just not possible anymore.
This is a must buy record and is easily a contender for one of the best metal albums of 2011.
Final Rating - 4.5/5 or 90%
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